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7 classic Hershey’s chocolate cake recipes from the ’70s

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Hershey's chocolate cake

So many memories of our parents and grandparents wouldn’t be quite complete without the tastes that bring us back to childhood. For many Americans, a big, sweet part of our past involved chocolate — especially Hershey’s chocolate in cakes and cupcakes.

Some of the most popular dessert recipes from the past came from the label on the can of Hershey’s cocoa. Here’s a look at a few classic chocolate cake recipes developed in years past, over in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

Antique Hershey's bar - chocolate candy

1. Hershey’s Collector’s Cake recipe

3/4 cup butter or margarine
1-3/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups unsifted all-purpose flour
3/4 cup Hershey’s Cocoa
1-1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/3 cups water

Cream butter and sugar in large mixer bowl. Add eggs and vanilla; beat 1 minute at medium speed. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; add alternately with water to creamed mixture.

Pour batter into two greased and floured 8-inch or 9-inch layer pans. Bake at 350° for 35 to 40 minutes for 8-inch layers, 30 to 35 minutes for 9-inch layers or until cake tester comes out clean.

Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans. Cool completely; frost.


2. Hershey’s Disappearing Chocolate cake, aka Hershey’s Prize Chocolate Cake (1978)

Ingredients

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup Hershey’s Cocoa
1-3/4 cups unsifted all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1-3/4 cups milk

Generously grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans. Cream butter, shortening, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy; blend in eggs.

Combine baking soda, cocoa, flour, baking powder and salt in bowl; add alternately with milk to batter. Blend well.

Pour into prepared pans; bake at 350° for 30 to 35 minutes or until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans.

And use cocoa in your favorite frosting recipe, too!

Hershey's Prize Chocolate cake recipe from 1978 (4)


3. Hershey’s Devil’s Food cake

3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1-1/2 cups sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs
1-3/4 cups unsifted all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Hershey’s Cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk or sour milk*
1/2 cup boiling water
Fluffy Vanilla Frosting (below)

Cream butter, sugar and vanilla in large mixer bowl. Add eggs; beat well. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; add alternately with buttermilk to creamed mixture. Add boiling water; beat until smooth.

Pour batter into wax paper-lined 13x9x2-inch pan. Bake at 350° for 40 minutes or until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan and remove paper. Cool completely; frost with Fluffy Vanilla Frosting. Store extra frosting, covered, in refrigerator for later use.

* To sour milk: Use 1 tablespoon vinegar plus milk to equal 1 cup. Have milk at room temperature before combining with the amount of vinegar indicated in the recipe. Let mixture stand several minutes before using.

Fluffy vanilla frosting recipe

1/2 cup butter or shortening
5 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 to 5 tablespoons milk

Cream butter, 1 cup confectioners* sugar, vanilla and salt in large mixer bowl. Add remaining confectioners’ sugar alternately with milk, beating to spreading consistency. Makes 3 cups frosting.

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4. Hershey’s Chocolatetown Special Cake

1/2 cup Hershey’s Cocoa
1/2 cup boiling water
2/3 cup shortening
1-3/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
2-1/4 cups unsifted all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/3 cups buttermilk or sour milk*
Burnt sugar frosting (see below)

Stir together cocoa and boiling water in small bowl until smooth; set aside. Cream shortening, sugar and vanilla in large mixer bowl; blend in eggs.

Combine flour, baking soda and salt; add alternately with buttermilk to creamed mixture. Blend in reserved cocoa mixture.

Pour batter into two greased and floured 9-inch or three 8-inch layer pans. Bake at 350° for 35 to 40 minutes for 9-inch layers, 25 to 30 minutes for 8-inch layers or until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans. Cool completely. Fill and frost with Burnt Sugar Frosting.

* To sour milk: Use 1 tablespoon vinegar plus milk to equal 1 cup. Have milk at room temperature before combining with the amount of vinegar indicated in the recipe. Let mixture stand several minutes before using.

Burnt sugar frosting recipe

Pour 3/4 cup sugar into large heavy skillet. Cook and stir constantly over low heat until sugar melts and begins to turn a dark golden color; gradually stir in 3/4 cup boiling water. Cook and stir over low heat until sugar dissolves and mixture comes to a boil; boil and stir 2 minutes. Cool completely.

Cream 3/4 cup butter or margarine in large mixer bowl. Add 2 egg yolks; blend well. Add 6 cups confectioners’ sugar and sugar syrup, reserving 2 tablespoons syrup; beat to spreading consistency. Frost cake; drizzle with reserved syrup. [Editor’s note: Using raw egg yolks is no longer recommended.]

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5. Hershey’s chocolate sour cream cake

1-3/4 cups unsifted all-purpose flour
1-3/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup Hershey’s Cocoa
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
1-1/2 cups dairy sour cream
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt in large mixer bowl. Blend in butter, sour cream, eggs and vanilla on low speed. Beat 3 minutes on medium speed.

Pour batter into greased and floured 13x9x2-inch pan. Bake at 350° for 35 to 40 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Cool completely; frost.

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Sweet Homemade Dark Chocolate Layer Cake
Photo by bhofack2/Envato Elements

6. Hershey’s Wacky cocoa cake

3 cups unsifted all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup Hershey’s Cocoa
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups water
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 teaspoons vanilla

Combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt in large mixer bowl. Add water, oil, vinegar and vanilla; beat 3 minutes at medium speed until thoroughly blended.

Pour batter into a greased and floured 13x9x2-inch pan. Bake at 350° for 35 to 40 minutes or until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Cool; frost as desired.

Antique tin of Hershey's Cocoa


7. Cocoa party cake recipe

1 cup butter or margarine, softened
2-1/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2-3/4 cups unsifted cake flour
1/2 cup Hershey’s Cocoa
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups buttermilk or sour milk*

Cream butter and sugar in large mixer bowl. Add eggs and vanilla; blend well. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; add alternately with butter¬ milk to creamed mixture. Pour into three greased and floured 8-inch layer pans or a 13x9x2-inch pan.

Bake at 350° for 30 to 35 minutes for layers, 55 to 60 minutes for oblong cake or until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans. Cool completely; frost.

* To sour milk: Use 1 tablespoon vinegar plus milk to equal 1 cup. Have milk at room temperature before combining with the amount of vinegar indicated in the recipe. Let mixture stand several minutes before using.

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Hershey’s chocolate fudge frosting recipe

1/3 cup butter or margarine
2/3 cup Hershey’s Cocoa
2-2/3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Melt butter in small saucepan over low heat; add cocoa, stirring constantly until smooth. (Mixture will be very thick.)

Remove from heat; pour into medium bowl. Cool slightly.

Add powdered sugar alternately with milk and vanilla, beating to spreading consistency.

Makes about 2 cups frosting.

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Hershey's Prize Chocolate cake recipe from 1978 (3)


One-bowl chocolate buttercream frosting recipe

6 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
2-2/3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup Hershey’s Cocoa
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Beat butter in medium bowl. Add powdered sugar and cocoa alternately with milk, beating to spreading consistency (additional milk may be needed). Stir in vanilla. Makes about 2 cups frosting.

For chocolate cupcakes: Fill paper-lined muffin cups (2-1/2 inches in diameter) 2/3 full with batter. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 to 25 minutes; cool. Frost. About 2-1/2 dozen cupcakes.

Classic chocolate cake

Vintage Hershey's Disappearing Chocolate cake recipe - 1978 (3)

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2 Responses

  1. great recipe, can you instruct me on how to increase the size of the cakes(Depth)like a 4 to 5 inch deep cake without making more cakes and layering them & with keeping this cake just as great as the regular size one???? !!!!! the recipe would be for any of the 3 Vintage & classic chocolate cakes !!!! Love your site !!! Thanks in advance for your advice here !!!! Jesse… Please email me at: [email protected] .

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